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Monday, Dec 16th

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India needed just two overs to wrap up the final Freedom Series Test match against the South Africa at Ranchi on Tuesday by an innings and 202 runs margin and clinch a 3-0 series triumph and, with it, 120 points in the ICC World Test Championship. Shahbaz Nadeem took the remaining two wickets in successive balls, the final one in bizarre fashion when he dismissed Lungi Ngidi caught and bowled as the ball deflected off the non-striker, Anrich Nortje.

Rohit Sharma was named both Man of the Match and Man of the Series for his aggregate of more than 500 runs that included three centuries, one of them being a double.

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India had a near perfect second day to the final Freedom Series Test match against South Africa at Ranchi on Sunday when Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane both achieved further personal landmarks and the home side then dismissed both the South African opening batsmen cheaply.

Their only disappointment for India would have been the fact that most of the final session was again lost to bad light, but the home side still held an overwhelmingly strong position, having declared at 497/9 and then reduced the Proteas to 9/2 by the early close.

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Rohit Sharma batted India through a difficult new ball period after Virat Kohli had again won the toss to score his third century of the series and put his side on the way to another substantial first innings total against the Proteas on the opening day of the final Freedom Series Test match at Ranchi on Saturday.

Sharma finished the day unbeaten on 117 (164 balls, 14 fours and 4 sixes) for his sixth career century and in the process took his series aggregate past the 400-run mark. His partnership with Ajinkya Rahane for the fourth wicket – so far 185 runs in a little more than 42 overs – was also an Indian fourth wicket record against the Proteas, improving on the 178 that Rahane and Kohli had put together in the previous match at Pune.

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INDIA, having decided to enforce the follow on, duly wrapped up the second Freedom Series Test match by an innings and 137 runs and in the process took a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match series at Pune on Sunday. It was also India’s biggest winning margin over the Standard Bank Proteas.

It was another disappointing batting day for the Proteas as the 10 wickets were evenly divided with five going to the seamers and five to the spinners.

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Virat Kohli led a record-breaking day for India as they piled up the runs on day two of the second Freedom Series Test against the Proteas at Pune on Friday and, then, in a repeat of the first match, got rid of three of the visitors’ top order before the close of play.

The Proteas closed the day on 36/3 from the 15 overs that were possible before time was called in response to India’s mammoth total of 601/5 declared.

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Kagiso Rabada showed glimpses of returning to his best form although the Indian batsmen were again in dominant form on the opening day of the second Freedom Series Test match against the Proteas at Pune on Thursday.

They were led by Mayank Agarwal who made his second century of the series (108 off 195 balls, 16 fours and 2 sixes) and who crucially shared a stand of 138 for the second wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara (58 off 112 balls, 9 fours and a six) before Virat Kohli (63 not out off 105 balls, 10 fours) put the finishing touches with an unbroken fourth wicket stand of 75 with Ajinkya Rahane.

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Mohammed Shami produced a brilliant spell of reverse swing bowling to strike the mortal blows that earned India victory by 203 runs with more than a session to spare in the opening Test match of the Freedom Series against the Proteas at Visakhapatnam on Sunday. He dismissed Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock – the latter two in the space of three balls – who were all bowled.

With Ravi Ashwin getting rid of Theunis de Bruyn and Ravindra Jadeja then taking a brilliant one-handed return catch to dismiss Aiden Markram, the writing was on the wall at 70/6 in the 27th over.

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